iGaming – online real money gaming and wagering activities like sports betting or casino games – is now one of the most popular and lucrative gaming verticals in the world, expected to generate around 134 billion (USD) in revenues at the end of 2027.

The gaming genre has a very wide appeal, from the online poker tournaments that are a hit with pro players, to the bingo and casino sites that are as much a part of 21st-century entertainment as content streaming platforms and social media. Speaking of social media, even Facebook has gotten in on the act with its free to play social casino games.

This mass saturation of the market has meant that there is so much choice available to the consumer in terms of the platforms they can join, the games there are to play, and the offers and promotions that are available from operators who compete to stand out. For the new gamer looking to get into the genre, it can actually be very overwhelming. So, what are the things that you need to be aware of when choosing and using an iGaming site?

What are your interests?

First of all, it’s easier to identify the type of iGaming site applicable to you based on your gaming interests. If you’re exclusively interested in sports betting for example, then an all-in-one platform isn’t going to be the best for your needs. In this instance, it will be better to search for a licensed and reputable online bookmaker (most of the major high street bookies do now have a global online presence).

If you’d just like to try out the different verticals (casino gaming, placing wagers, poker tournaments) then a more established online casino and poker room would be more up your street, since leading platforms will open betting markets for major sporting events.

It can be a bit more complicated if you’re interested in playing specific games, however, since most casinos offer hundreds of different games to play. They can range from classic slot games to five-reel slots and progressive jackpot slots, roulette, poker, and blackjack variations, live dealer table games, and even games incorporating advanced tech like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The simplest way to find a suitable platform is to research the operators that partner with specialist iGaming software developers, such as NetEnt or Playtech.

Platform legitimacy

This is the most important element of using iGaming websites, ensuring that it is a legible, secure, and reputable online platform. In this digital age security online is paramount, and there are still some blacklisted sites in operation. A good iGaming provider will meet the following criteria:

Third-party auditing – reputable iGaming sites will be audited by independent third parties, who test things like site security, game fairness, player safety, etc. Look out for badges awarded by bodies like eCOGRA, Technical Systems Testing (TST), Thawte, and iTech Labs.

Fully licensed – the different licensing authorities across the world certify reputable iGaming sites by setting the guidelines and regulations that they have to follow. Even if you’re using a provider that is not directly based in your territory (a process known as offshore gaming), it should still be licensed by a major authority, such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKCG), GC of Antigua and Barbuda, Malta Gaming Authority, Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, Isle of Man GSC.

Customer protection policies – reputable sites will have clear privacy policies and terms and conditions of use, which will clearly state the individual customer protection policies they adhere to. Check to see if your sites of choice have clearly made their standards of accreditation with bodies like the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) visible. You can typically find full Responsible Gaming statements under the About section on a gaming platform website, and any badges are usually visible in the footer or header sections

Secure technology – any iGaming site worth its salt will be built on secure technology. SSL encryption will keep customer details and financial transactions safe (you can tell if a site has a valid SSL certificate by looking out for an ‘s’ directly after ‘http’), whilst the explicit use of RNGs (Random Number Generators) ensures the fair outcome of games across the board.